South Dakota Festival of Books 2018: What You Need to Know
Plan Your Visit to the 2018 Brookings and Sioux Falls Event
The 2018 South Dakota Festival of Books features Pulitzer Prize-winning writers, notable journalists, acclaimed authors from around the country and a world-famous novelist whose best-known work was turned into a major motion picture.
Because the Festival includes more than 60 authors and a multitude of events, you'll want a head start on planning your visit, which is why we're providing this snapshot of the 2018 Festival of Books.
While most events are free, events with food and writing workshops require tickets. Please visit our ticket page to reserve your spot at our ticketed events.
What's Happening the Week of Sept. 17?
While most of our Brookings and Sioux Falls events take place during our "official" dates, Sept. 20-23, 2018, the Festival will kick off on Monday, Sept. 17, with preview events throughout the week leading up to a big weekend full of author presentations, writing workshops, book signings and more.
Monday, Sept. 17 (events starting at 7 p.m.)
The Greatest Stories Rarely Told: Biblical Scholars and the Discrepancies of Scripture with Biblical scholar Bart D. Ehrman, 7 p.m.-8 p.m., Performing Arts Center, Larson Memorial Concert Hall
Tuesday, Sept. 18 (events starting at 1 p.m.)
- Special Screening: "The Lovely Bones" with an Introduction by Local Filmmaker Jay Fishback, 1 p.m.-3:45 p.m., Brookings Cinema 8, Theater #5
- Books to Film: A Great American Tradition - Wine & Cheese Reception With Filmmaker Jay Fishback, 4 p.m.-6 p.m., Old Market Eatery
What's Happening Sept. 20-23? Dates & Times to Remember
Thursday, Sept. 20 (Sioux Falls Young Readers events starting at 10 a.m., Brookings Author Reception at 7:30 p.m.)
On Thursday, the Young Readers Festival will be hosted by the Washington Pavilion and Downtown Public Library in Sioux Falls. Events begin at 10 a.m. at the Washington Pavilion. Young Readers events continue in Brookings Friday, Sept 21.
The biggest event of the day is the Festival Fundraiser & Author Reception from 7:30 p.m.-9 p.m. at the SDSU Alumni Center, Woster Celebration Hall in Brookings. Here's your chance to mingle with Festival authors and enjoy hors d'oeuvres. Your $50 ticket includes one free drink, after which a cash bar will be available.
Times to Remember:
- 10 a.m. - Young Readers events begin in Sioux Falls
- 7:30 p.m. - Author Reception begins in Brookings (Buy tickets here)
Friday, Sept. 21 (events start at 9 a.m.)
Friday is a full day of young readers' events held at the Children's Museum of South Dakota and K-12 schools in Brookings starting at 10 a.m. For adults, Friday will feature author events and panel discussions on the SDSU campus, including public presentations in the Student Union and at the PAC. Downtown-area workshops are scheduled at the Brookings City County Building and Public Library in the morning and in the afternoon at the First United Methodist Church.
Attendees will want to head to the Community Life Center, First United Methodist Church at 1 p.m. for the opening of Exhibitors' Hall and the "Early Bird" Mass Book Signing, 3:30–4:15 p.m. That evening's keynotes at the Larson Memorial Concert Hall include a talk by 2018 One Book South Dakota author Thomas E. Patterson and a conversation with Alice Sebold, an author from PBS's The Great American Read list of 100 best-loved books.
Times to Remember:
- 9 a.m. - Adult events and workshops begin in the downtown area of Brookings and on the SDSU Campus
- 1 p.m. - Exhibitors' Hall Opens at the Community Life Center at First United Methodist Church
- 3:30 p.m. - Mass Book Signing at Exhibitors' Hall
- 6 p.m. – "Informing the News" keynote by Thomas J. Patterson at Performing Arts Center, Larson Memorial Concert Hall
- 7 p.m. - "An Evening with Alice Sebold," featuring Alice Sebold in conversation with Lori Walsh, host of In the Moment, SDPB Radio's live news and issues program, at Performing Arts Center, Larson Memorial Concert Hall.
Exhibitors' Hall is always a big hit for Festival of Books attendees, who can get autographs and talk to their favorite authors. Above, Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve is shown signing at a book at Exhibitors' Hall at the 2017 Festival of Books.
Saturday, Sept. 22 (events begin at 9 a.m.)
On Saturday, Exhibitors' Hall opens at 9 a.m. and concurrent events begin in the downtown area of Brookings. Sessions will take place in the Downtown and Central Historic Districts, with venues including the Brookings City County Government Building, the Brookings Public Library, and the Community Life Center and other venues at the First United Methodist Church.
The afternoon includes another Mass Book Signing in Exhibitors' Hall at 1 p.m., and the evening features keynotes in the Sanctuary of the First United Methodist Church –"American Wolf" author Nate Blakeslee followed by a panel on the evolution of coverage of tough topics by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Timothy Egan and Jacqui Banaszynski.
Times to Remember:
- 9 a.m. - Exhibitor Hall Opens and concurrent events begin
- 1 p.m. - Mass Book Signing begins at First United Methodist Church's Community Life Center
- 4 p.m.-5:15 p.m. - Happy Hour for Readers & Writers with Literary Loot at Old Market Eatery (win autographed books, original illustrations, Skype sessions with authors and more!)
- 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. - American Wolf: The Saga of O-Six, the Most Famous Wolf in the World with Nate Blakeslee at First United Methodist Church, Sanctuary
- 7 p.m.-8 p.m. - Tough Topics, Pulitzer Prizes: How Our Content and Its Coverage Have Changed Over the Years with Jacqui Banaszynski and Timothy Egan at First United Methodist Church, Sanctuary
Sunday, Sept. 23 (events begin at 10:30 a.m.)
The 2018 Festival of Books will conclude on Sunday with a ticketed brunch at 10:30 a.m. at McCrory Gardens, Great Hall, in Brookings: Book Lovers' Brunch: The Many Faces and Functions of Fiction with Leif Enger, Patrick Hicks, Jess Lourey, C. M. Wendelboe, Rose Ross Zediker. Participants will enjoy a brunch catered by Aramark while learning more about fiction of all kinds - literary, historical, mystery, romance, and more - from best-selling authors in all these genres!
Some of the featured authors at the 2018 Festival include (from left to right): Amby Burfoot, Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, Annette Gordon Reed, Linsey Davis, Joseph Marshall III and Leif Enger.
Who Are the Featured Presenters?
The Festival includes authors from South Dakota and other areas of the U.S. who fall into our Festival tracks of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, literature, children's/YA, history/tribal writing, and writer's support. Leading our 2018 Festival of Books lineup is author Alice Sebold, whose novel "The Lovely Bones" vaulted her to international stardom with translations in over 45 languages and sales of more than five million copies in America alone.
With poignant prose tackling difficult subjects of rape, child murder and the fracture of families, Sebold captured international audiences with her brilliant debut novel. A film version was adapted, written and directed by Peter Jackson. It was released in 2009 and starred Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon and Stanley Tucci.
Thomas E. Patterson, the 2018 One Book S.D. Author of "Informing the News," is one of several journalists and authors who will discuss our 2018 initiative, "Democracy and the Informed Citizen."
Pulitzer Winners and More
To complement year-round, statewide programs focusing on public trust and the media, the Festival of Books will feature Pulitzer Prize-winning authors and journalists providing context on changes in news gathering and delivery and discussing "infoliteracy"—thinking critically amidst the proliferation of available media.
Discussion of our "Democracy and the Informed Citizen" initiative is led by SDSU political science graduate and Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press at the Harvard Kennedy School Thomas E. Patterson, who will present a keynote at the Festival and visit SDSU journalism classes.
Patterson's "Informing the News: The Need for Knowledge-Based Journalism" is the 2018 One Book South Dakota.
2018 Festival of Books Featured Presenters
- Pulitzer Prize Winners Jacqui Banaszynski ("AIDS in the Heartland," St. Paul Pioneer Press), Timothy Egan ("How Race Is Lived in America," New York Times), Caroline Fraser ("Prairie Fires"), Annette Gordon-Reed ("The Hemingses of Monticello")
- Fiction Favorites Alice Sebold ("The Lovely Bones" – in partnership with PBS/SDPB's The Great American Read and SDSU's Common Read), Leif Enger ("Virgil Wander"), William Kent Krueger ("Desolation Mountain")
- Children's/YA Authors Kara LaReau ("The Infamous Ratsos" – 2018 Young Readers One Book South Dakota), Jessie Taken Alive Rencountre ("Pet'a Shows Misun the Light"), Kevin Charles Smith ("Bilge Rat, Pirate Adventurer")
- Local Luminaries & South Dakota Authors Phyllis Cole-Dai ("Beneath the Same Stars") & Ruby Wilson ("Poetry of Presence"), Mike Henriksen ("First Person: Legendary South Dakota Sports Stories"), Rick Holm ("A Guide to Aging and Dying with Grace")
- Tribal Authors Elizabeth Cook-Lynn ("In Defense of Loose Translations"), Terese Mailhot ("Heart Berries: A Memoir"), Joseph M. Marshall III ("In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse")
- Plus 14 Media Professionals/Authors, including Andy Boyle, director of Platform Architecture for Axios, and Linsey Davis, Emmy-winning reporter for ABC News
2018 Festival of Books: Video Preview
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